Innovating for Primary Health Care Services

Core Nigeria is a Human-centered design (HCD) collaboration and learning platform, focused on supporting health systems to deliver primary care services in the context of COVID-19, while also identifying transformational strategies to improve systems and services beyond the pandemic. 

Through remotely led Design Clinic sessions and Virtual Network events, Core Nigeria’s partners are exploring challenges in primary healthcare brought about by COVID-19 and learning how HCD methods and tools can help them innovate and improve service delivery across different phases:



Developing immediate solutions to urgent challenges in primary healthcare delivery brought on by the pandemic.


Refining and adapting new solutions further and identifying opportunities to improve services long-term.


Creating policy and systems-level transformation plans to ensure reforms  for better primary healthcare delivery.

What is human-centered design?

HCD is a process for developing innovative solutions to problems by putting the target group—the people one intends to serve—at the center of the design process. To accomplish this, the HCD process begins by bringing together multidisciplinary teams that immerse themselves in an environment to gather insights and identify challenges.

Using these insights, teams work together with diverse local stakeholders to co-create potential solutions and rapidly test and iterate them based on feedback. This process leads to new solutions that are more relevant for the target group for which they are designed, and which are more likely to be adopted and sustained in the long-term. Learn more about the HCD process.

Capacity Building

Beyond supporting the development of new solutions to immediate primary healthcare challenges, Core Nigeria’s main focus is ensuring partners’ gain the knowledge and confidence to apply HCD processes to future public health challenges. This emphasis on HCD learning will enable partners  to continue making their own programming more responsive and effective, as well as help them to advocate for these human-centered approaches within their organisation and to others.

Core Nigeria’s Approach

Core Nigeria works through two interlacing elements , a Design Clinic and a Virtual Network, both of which are led remotely in collaboration with partners in Nigeria.

Design Clinic
Design Clinic teams in Lagos and Niger states take a learning-by-doing approach by applying HCD tools and methods to tackle specific health care challenges in their regions. With design mentoring support, state teams work through the phases of HCD, from conducting participatory  design research, to co-creating, testing and refining solution concepts. The Design Clinic will result in one or two innovative solutions that will be ready to implement and scale in each state. 

Teams consist of state and federal government officials, healthcare workers and managers, and representatives of Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) Nigeria. Design Clinic sessions are scheduled to correlate with Core Nigeria’s Virtual Network, allowing teams to share their work with a broad group of stakeholders for feedback and validation.


Virtual Network 

Core Nigeria’s Virtual Network brings together actors and organizations working in primary health care to meet one another and gain introductory knowledge of HCD tools and methods. Network members will form a community of practice to continue collaborating, sharing knowledge, and exploring how they can apply HCD to improve primary healthcare during and after the pandemic. 


The Virtual Network consists of a broad base of stakeholders, including local, state, and federal government officials, healthcare workers and managers, non-governmental organizations, faith-based groups, and community organizations. 

Network meetings are scheduled to correlate with Design Clinic phases so that members can follow along with the clinics’ progress to learn and provide feedback on insights, methods, and proposed solutions.

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